Hi dear friends!
Today Shanah @bionicbookworm gave us a day off from Top 5 Tuesday but as I promised the tale of my adventures at RARE Paris I thought I would begin with my best tips!
You will get a second post in the coming days about anecdotes of my experience at RARE Paris.
You will ATTEND a book event? Here is what you should know.
If you want a “First Aid Kit” here are my top 5 advices!
1) Dress in layers and wear comfortable shoes.
Depending of the event’s season you might wait a long time outside in the queue to enter your building. If it is freezing you’ll need a warm coat and wool beneath. Turtle neck maybe or you’ll turn into a popsickle.
Once inside the place it usually gets warm and stuffy so undress to your T-shirt.
I know you may want to look cute meeting your favorite author but leave the high heels at home! You will be a long time standing and if you still hope to drag your bag full of books to your hotel favor flats or sneakers. You’ll thank me!
2) Forget the backpack and opt for a trolley or a rolling suitcase to carry your books.
Except if you plan on having less than 4 books signed just don’t carry them in a backpack or your back and neck will kill you by the end of the day!
Everyone knows books are heavy and you will probably end the day with more books (free or bought) than you began with! A rolling suitcase will be way more practical.
3) Strategize and choose
At events like RARE (Romance Reader Event) you usually have 80 to 120 authors! Many you’d know and own books you would like to get signed. I know that some book events in the US stretch over 2 or 3 days but if it’s only a one day meet you won’t be able to meet all the authors.
What you should do is prioritize. Your top 5 then top 10 then….
Study the room map and visit authors in the same corner. Then move to the next.
If the queue holds more than 10 people move to an author with a small queue.
Some authors are ticketed. Ask for a ticket as soon as possible or your chance of meeting him or her are slim to none.
4) Make friends
Think about it: you are surrounded by people sharing the same interest: the love for books!!!
This is just the perfect place to make new friends and chat about books. The wait is usually long and time will fly by when you’ll fawn over your favorites. You could gather many good recommendations.
5) Try something new and wait till the end.
Give a chance to authors you’ve never read.
Even if you don’t own their books go to their table if they have none or a small line and chat with them. Ask about their books. Maybe buy one and try it. Interview them. Be curious that’s the ideal moment to learn more about the writing process.
By the end of the event authors who brought many books don’t want to get back with them. Too heavy. They often will sell them for a penny and you could discover a new favorite!
That’s how I ended up reading Love My Way by Kate Sterrit last year! I loved it!
You will VOLUNTEER at this event? Here are some tips again
Of course as you will also try to get your own books signed etc. the 5 tips above apply to you too!
1) Select the position you want to volunteer for.
Several positions require volunteers.
Volunteers for events like RARE are a huge part of the success. They would simply not run without people willing to help for free.
If you are ready to help the whole day and are confident (a people person) authors need assistant to run their show.
Basically you will help the author set his/her table, set the banner, unpack boxes, organize pre orders. You will sell the books (take the change), take pictures, chat while people wait in the queue and maybe if it’s in a foreign country and you are gifted with languages translate for readers attending.
If you would like to volunteer for a few hours, opt for line ambassador ( manage the line of readers, make sure they have sticky notes with their names in their books, etc.) or lunch section ambassador(you come to close the lines for lunch and guide the authors to the lunch room). You can work from the registration desk (check tickets and distribute lanyards) etc.
2) Help others
You are here to assist “your” author but if you are (momentarily) done with your task look if others don’t need your help.
My author did not bring any pre order so her table was quickly set up and I helped Emma Scott’s assistant as there were MANY books pre ordered to set up and many more books to sell.
Setting up a banner sometimes will require jumping on a chair if you are on the small size like I am! 😀
3) If you are an author assistant: bring change
Sometimes readers won’t have change and it would lead to an embarrassing situation and a missed sale. It will be time to settle your account later via Paypal with the author.
4) Read the author’s book
If you are assigned to assist an author or manage his line, read one of his or her books.
You will be able to explain to other readers what his or her books are like and maybe convince them to take a chance on the author.
You will also be able to chat up with the author.
If you are an assistant it’s a whole day function and you’ll get to know him or her pretty well. Talking about the books is always a plus!
By the end of the day I also could tell readers what Scarlett’s next series was about, when it would be published in French. I also knew all about her favorite male character and her choice of names ! 😀
5) Ask the author for her preferences then own the show and engage.
These events are too big for babysitting volunteers. You are in charge of your function. Ask the author her preferences to run the show and go for it! Be sensible, observe to spot if something is needed. Engage the readers it will help them wait to meet their idol.
Most important advice: smile and have fun!
This is a long day. You will work but it will be so rewarding as you’ll be among your favorite kind of people!
You are at others services so be flexible. Don’t be a drama llama.
Now this is me in action assisting Scarlett Cole at RARE Paris 2019!
Have you ever been to a book event? Do you agree with my tips? Have others? Was this post useful to you?
Thanks for reading! Now I will catch up with all your posts and comments since last Tuesday!!!!!